The old crone outside the window stood intently. Her stiff posture subtly betraying a strength such a soft, loose-looking frame should not possess. Hard shining black eyes stared out from her wrinkled and wretched dead mask of a face.
She had been there for days. Though many had seen her, none could quite pay her mind.
The soft hungry smile on her lips had been glacially fading for the last several days. It emptied completely mere moments before the boy brought the cleaver down, severing his hand and her link to him.
She sighed and burst free from the fleshly confines of her guise. The old woman’s skin and waggling flesh fell away to the mossy floor like so much unimportant meat. Only rainbow radiance remained.
A single too perfect peach rolled free from the now boneless and rotting old lady fingers.
The black-eyed angel shone sickly like a light-washed winking star. She was no longer sustained by the boy’s faithful forbearance. She parted the veil between worlds above her with a negligent gesture, rising through it in a petulant apotheosis.
A hog-headed goblin snickered and snorted at the angel’s failure as he snuck through. He was headed to the village to whisper jealousies into the ear of the smith.
Downhill a short way, a violet luminescing fairy turned sharply midflight, to scoop up the too perfect peach. She would leave it for the neighbor girl to find, beneath her blanket in the warm loft. The girl would smile and think it a secret gift from her absent father.
All through the village and the wet wild woods that would seem so quiet, so still, mischief teemed; hidden eyes watched. On the frontier, the border between known and imagined, no one is as alone as one might imagine.